Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Real Morning Walk

Good morning from Duluth! Today I decided it is too good an opportunity to miss walking with the morning sun enticing me to go out. So after a glass of warm coffee I took my cellphone and headed outdoor. My mood was immediately lifted when I saw a clear morning sky with just a few clouds drifting lazily. There was no wind so it isn't cold although the initial reaction is of, "Am I going to last more than 15 minutes outdoor in my shorts (I didn't bring along my track pants)?"

I decided to walk further than where I've explored, taking the route my son and his wife use to take before they son was born. I suppose, from his conversation, they will eventually pram Joshua down the same path they took when he gets older. I get the feeling that Joshua won't have a chance to be brought up entirely indoor but will have a balanced activity to develop his all-round personality and experience.

The very first sight that greeted me was, oh today is garbage day! Yes, once a week the garbage truck will come along to pick up all the household waste which must be properly bagged and kept neatly along the walkways. Most residents kept them next to their letter boxes to avoid any misunderstanding. I noted the volume of garbage from household to household and tried to imagine what sort of people live therein. The first pile of garbage belong to ours and it was among the biggest because we have a household of 5 and baby Joshua contributed substantially with his used diapers. I also see garbage that is just a boxful consisting of mainly egg cartons and empty milk containers, suggesting perhaps a simple couple without kids. Another sight I see everyday is that of the morning papers nicely packed inside a plastic bag to prevent them being blown around by wind. Many household refuses to retrieve them and once, when I walked in the evening, the papers were still lying on their driveways. I wonder if they ever get out at all.

This place I stayed has a well contoured landscape with good privacy. Apart from the fact that there are many designs, and it is hard to see a repeat design near your house, all houses have private backyards separated from their back neighbors by a stretch of wooded terrace so technically one can hold a barbecue party or read books, or blog outdoor, in total privacy, except from sneaky neighbors next door.

Again I don't see folks like me, perhaps they walked earlier but I thought walking under a morning sun is more invigorating and healthier. A resident was trimming his shrubs. Most residents kept a sleuth of gardening tools to carry out minor maintenance, but a few I saw even mow their own lawns. Understandably it is expensive to engage professionals unless absolutely necessary. That is why most garages hold not only cars but gardening stuffs, including fertilizers and equipment, as well as serve as an extended store.

Yesterday, coming back from dim sum lunch at a Chinese restaurant around 3pm we have to follow several cars behind a school bus as the driver discharge school kids. In the States it is illegal to overtake a school bus within a residential area while picking up or discharging school children as it may endanger their safety. It also develop discipline and patience of the drivers, a good system to adopt. As I observe the kids of all ages coming down the bus I realize this is a mixed community where people are living harmoniously but not really interactively.

I walked to the tennis courts which is almost a kilometer or 15 minutes walk away and decided to turn around. The walk home is a little bit strenuous as the road slopes upward and I felt my lower calves achy, signs of an inactive life physically. But I managed to get home safely.

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